When Should I See the Dentist?

BECAUSE PREVENTION IS such a major part of good dental care, it’s critical to visit the dentist for regular checkups. In most cases, two regular dental cleanings a year will be all you need, but not always. So what are the signs that you shouldn’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to come back? For this blog post, we’ve listed the top five.

1. Pains Of Any Kind

If you’re experiencing tooth aches, that could mean a cavity has gotten to the point where the dental pulp is getting inflamed. Please do not “tough it out” thinking that it will just go away on its own. Other types of pain you should bring to the dentist are an aching or soreness in the jaw and/or frequent headaches. These are often connected to oral health issues such as bruxism – teeth grinding, and the Dr. Davidowitz can help!

2. Bleeding Gums or Sores in the mouth

Mouth sores most usually go away on their own, but they can also be a sign of infection or disease, so it’s important to get those looked at when they appear. If you notice that you’re bleeding after brushing or flossing, it is a sign that it is time to come see the dentist, particularly if you’re already using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms of gum disease called gingivitis, so don’t ignore the signs!

3. Previous Dental Work

If you’ve had dental work done in the past and there’s a problem with it now, don’t wait until a regular appointment to get that fixed, because it will likely get worse. A cracked or broken restoration needs to be repaired quickly so that infection or further degradation doesn’t set in. Old looking stained or opened fillings need to be replaced to prevent bacteria from thriving in the gaps between the tooth and the filling.

4. Serious Medical Concerns

Serious medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, eating disorders, and gum disease affect our oral health more than we realize, and sometimes the treatments have negative impacts too. Many common prescribed medications cause dry mouth, which can seriously jeopardize oral health. That’s why if you are diagnosed with a chronic disease and/or have new medications prescribed to you, your dentist needs to know about it.

5. Bad Breath

Few things are as mortifying as being in a social situation and realizing you have bad breath or being told by a loved one about it, but did you know that bad breath is sometimes a symptom of gum disease or other health problems? If you find yourself having an unusually hard time keeping your breath minty fresh, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist so we can discover the underlying cause.

Remember: Keep Up with Your Regular Dental Visits!

While we hope you come to see us right away if you notice any of these signs, we want to reemphasize the importance of scheduling regular appointments. Most dental health problems appear gradually, and an appointment every six months is enough to catch these problems before they become serious.

Thank you for trusting in us to take care of all your dental concerns!

Soda Versus Our Teeth

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of “Mountain Dew Mouth”? This phenomenon is what happens to our teeth when we drink too much soda. The term actually comes from rural Appalachia, where that particular brand of drink has long been the carbonated beverage of choice and tooth decay is alarmingly rampant. But this doesn’t just happen in Appalachia, and Mountain Dew isn’t the only drink that contributes to tooth decay.

The Dangers of Sugary Drinks

When we eat or drink things with sugar in it, the sugar will stick to our teeth afterward. Sugar itself doesn’t do any damage to our oral health on its own, but it is unfortunately the favorite food of the bacteria that lives in our mouths. These bacteria, known as strep mutans, eat the sugar and then excrete acids that erode our tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay (cavities). They can also cause inflammation that increase the risk of gingivitis and gum disease.

Any source of sugar can negatively impact oral health. Sugary drinks (including fruit juice, but especially soda) are particularly dangerous because they aren’t filling like solid food and are therefore easy to keep drinking.

Effects Of Carbonation

So if sugar is the problem, then can’t we keep our teeth healthy by switching to diet soda instead of giving up carbonated beverages altogether? Diet soda is certainly an improvement, but sugar isn’t soda’s only threat to dental health. The other is acid. Sugar leads to tooth decay because oral bacteria eat sugar and excrete acid that erode tooth enamel. Soda cuts out the middle man and applies acid directly to the teeth.

Even diet sodas and carbonated water contain acid. The three types of acid commonly found in soda are citric, phosphoric, and carbonic. Any drink with citrus flavoring will have citric acid, many colas get their flavor from phosphoric acid, and carbonic acid is what makes these drinks fizzy in the first place.

Protecting Your Smile

It would be best for your teeth to avoid soda and other sugary drinks entirely. If you can’t bring yourself to give up your favorite drink completely though, there are a few ways to enjoy it while protecting your teeth. A big one would be to only drink soda with a meal instead of sipping from a can or bottle throughout the day so that the sugar and acid aren’t sitting in your mouth for long periods.

You can also help balance your mouth’s pH and rinse away remaining sugar by drinking water after the soda. Finally, you can clean away the last traces of sugar and acid by brushing your teeth, but it’s a good idea to wait until the pH balance is back to normal before brushing, which takes about thirty minutes.

It is particularly important for children and people with braces to avoid overindulging in sugary drinks. Children have the highest risk of enamel erosion because their enamel isn’t yet fully developed, and braces plus a soda habit is a great way to end up with stained teeth when the braces come off.

Don’t Forget That We Can Help Too!

Following these good habits will go a long way towards protecting your teeth against decay and erosion from the sugar and acid in soda. Still, don’t forget that your dentist is also an important part of the equation. Keep scheduling those visits every six months!

Thank you for always being our valued patients!

Men’s Health

MAINTAINING GOOD ORAL HEALTH is crucial for everyone, but that can mean different things for men than for women. That led us to put together a list of things men should particularly watch out for, as well as some tips for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy!

Brush That Charming Smile to be a true Prince Charming!

Many women say a man’s most attractive feature is his smile. However, recent research surveys have shown, men tend to not take care of their teeth as well as women do, and that puts those charming smiles at risk! According to a national survey, men were 20% less likely than women to brush their teeth twice a day. It also found that men change their toothbrushes less often. Make sure you’re brushing two minutes twice a day and regularly replacing that toothbrush every 3-4 months!

Rocking the Beard? There is some good news for those bearded men. Your luxurious beard might actually be helping you keep harmful germs away from your face and out of your mouth!

Minimizing Risk Factors For Disease

Because men tend to chew tobacco, smoke, and drink more than women, they become more susceptible to the oral health consequences that come with those substances, such as dental cavities, gum recession, periodontitis, tooth loss, and even oral cancer. Make sure to avoid habits like these that put your oral health at risk!

Greater Risks Of Dry Mouth

Men are statistically more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease than women, and with these kinds of diseases comes the need for medication. One very common side-effect of many such medications is Xerostomia or dry mouth.

Saliva is crucial to good oral health because it washes away bacteria and regulates the mouth’s pH. When the saliva runs dry, there’s an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and even bad breath. If you’re experiencing problems from dry mouth, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.

Be A Man: Go To The Dentist

This leads us to another problem that impacts men more than women, and that is the tendency to neglect regular dental visits. Prevention is crucial to good oral health, which is why we recommend that all patients schedule an appointment every six months, whether or not anything seems to be wrong with their teeth.

Let’s Keep Those Pearly Whites Shining!

Don’t take the “tough guy” approach with your dental health by holding out until you’re experiencing significant tooth pain or some other obvious problem before you come see us. Always make sure to schedule those regular appointments so that we can help you get ahead of any problems, and keep up with your good oral health habits in the meantime! Small problems found during regular checkups are typically an easy fix. Waiting for tooth pain to get worse or for a dental emergency could be many times more difficult.

As always, we love helping our patients!

Alternative Ways To Get Calcium In Your Diet

CALCIUM AND MILK go together like toothpaste and fluoride. Without the one, it may be difficult to find the latter. And, like fluoride, calcium is essential to our oral health.

How Calcium Benefits Your Oral Health

We all know that calcium is the main component of our jaw bone and teeth, but our mouths are also made up of gums, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Calcium is important for these things as well because it helps them function as they should.

How Much Calcium Do We Need?

The range of calcium intake recommended for the average person on a daily basis is between 1000-1300mg from ages four to 70+ yrs. Children younger than four need about 700mg or less. The numbers are varied based on age and gender.

Getting less than 500mg of calcium a day puts you at greater risk of developing gum disease, and the scary thing is that most people don’t meet their daily recommendation. Take a look at the foods you’re eating and make sure you’re including at least 800mg of daily calcium to keep your teeth and oral health in great shape!

Non-dairy Calcium Sources

Most people can get their daily calcium from milk and other dairy products, but some don’t have that option. Luckily, there are many alternative sources of this crucial mineral, and we’ve made a list of them to help out our dairy-averse patients.

  • Canned fish with the bones in. The bones of small, canned fish are an excellent source of calcium, and they’re soft enough to eat! It’s up to you whether you eat them straight from the can or mix them into a larger meal.
  • Dark leafy greens. Starting at 180mg and reaching about 350mg, kale, spinach and collard greens are the three leafy greens with the highest calcium content.
  • Beans and black-eyed peas. Legumes such as beans and black-eyed peas contain an impressive amount of calcium, with 350mg to 515mg in just one cup!
  • Fortified drinks. Fortified orange juice contains around 1500mg and soy milk has 340mg per cup.
  • Tofu. Most tofu has added calcium, giving it about 860mg per half cup, but you’ll still get between 100-200mg per serving with no calcium added!
  • Broccoli and broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe (rob) has about 80mg of calcium per 2/3-cup serving and broccoli has about 100mg per 2cup serving.
  • Edamame. With 98mg in just one cup of cooked edamame, it’s a good source of calcium as well as protein!
  • Almonds. Out of all the nuts, almonds contain the highest level of calcium, with 8% of the recommended daily intake in a single ounce.
  • Dried Figs. Figs have a sweet, dessert-like flavor, so eating the half cup it takes to get the calcium from them will feel like indulging in a treat!

We Can Help

If you think you may be prone to gum disease or have further questions about how you can improve your daily calcium intake, we’d love to talk to you about it, so schedule a visit with us today!

We love helping our patients keep their teeth healthy and strong

Don’t Let Those Insurance Benefits Expire!

Boy does time fly… 2017 IS ALMOST OVER, and that means it’s time to talk about dental insurance. Unfortunately, dental benefits DO NOT roll over into the next year if they go unused. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of all your benefits, then now is the time to do so!

Is Your Coverage Compatible?

We have a designated team member to deal with your insurance company. Whenever possible, we will bill and collect payments directly from your insurance company to minimize your out-of-pocket expense. Although we are an out of network office, we are an insurance friendly office and accept most major PPO insurance plans. When scheduling appointments please be sure to have your dental insurance information ready. We will verify your benefits and eligibility to make sure you are covered, and to let you know if you have an out of pocket expense. We will do everything we can to maximize your insurance benefit and minimize your out-of-pocket expense. We apologize in advance, but we do not participate with any DMO or DHMO plans.

What To Do Before The Year Ends

Appointments are filling up quickly. Please call or text Yvette, our office manager at 212-759-7535 to book your appointment for your dental cleaning and checkup or for any dental procedure you’ve been pushing off be it white fillings, crowns, etc.

We Can’t Wait To See You!

We’re always looking out for our patients and want to make sure you’re taking the fullest advantage of your benefits! If you have any questions regarding dental insurance, stop by or call us today and we can help! The greatest benefits are to your dental health! The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.